08/06/2023 06:18 PM

KUCHING, June 8 (Bernama) -- The selection of the Iban phrase 'Segulai Sejalai' as a symbol of national unity is a recognition of the ethnic group’s native language.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Political Science professor, Prof Datuk Dr Jayum Jawan, said that the phrase, which means 'moving forward together', is very appropriate in carrying out the national unity agenda.

He said the choice of the phrase also showed Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's openness to using language representing other races or ethnic minorities as a slogan for a programme or agenda at the federal level.

“The selection of the phrase 'Segulai Sejalai'  showcases the diversity of culture and language which reflects the true identity of Malaysia.

“I'm sure that the Prime Minister quoted that phrase in the context of inviting everyone to move forward together, in order to harmonise a multi-ethnic Malaysia, in line with the principles of a Malaysia MADANI," he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Jayum said that the recognition of the Iban language would also mean more if an Iban Language Faculty could be established at a national public research university.

Yesterday, Anwar said that 'Segulai Sejalai', an Iban phrase in Sarawak, will be used as a slogan of unity for the whole country.

The Prime Minister said that he was drawn to the phrase, which is used as the motto of the national-level Gawai Dayak celebration, which he attended yesterday.

“Whenever I discuss and speak about unity, solidarity and cooperation, I will mention Segulai Sejalai to emphasise my message,” Anwar said when speaking at the launching ceremony.